Tag Archives: gold mine

What Happened to the Gold on the Ramsay 7th line?



Your Historical Fact of the Day–James Black Homestead, half hidden behind mature shrubbery at the intersection with the 7th line of Ramsay. This small but handsome stone home was built in 1852 by James Black and his wife Janet, on the land allocated to his father, Walter, some thirty years earlier. Walter Black, a wheel-wright by trade, left his home in Dumfrieshire, Scotland in 1821 to come to Canada as a Lanark Society Settler. In 1821 he was allocated the 100 acre parcel on which the James Black Homestead now stands.



Almonte Gazette--IN 1868 While drilling a well on the farm of Mr. Peter Young, 7th line, Ramsay, Mr. Chas. Tweedy struck a vein of rock bearing gold. He thinks it is there in paying quantities, and a former California gold man says the stuff is the pure metal. Now the people of this vicinity have room to think that this district will prove to be the Canadian El Dorado. (*Author’s Note-the lead mine was on the Ramsay 4th Line)



Saw this photo at an auction last week and someone told me the house was on one of the Ramsay lines-


The seventh line of Ramsay contained William Cobb, John Bowes, Walter Black, John Steel, Lachlan McLean, Neil McQuarry, Robert McLaren, James Bowes, Jr., John McPherson, John Gillan, James Stewart, John More and James Patterson. Lachlan McLean from Old Kirkpatrick, New Glasgow, was possibly the first poet Ramsay Township produced. His “The Dalshooie Feast” was widely known in his day. James Patterson was one of the earliest tailors in Ramsay, having to travel to Brockville to obtain thread during pioneer days. It was said he sometimes had to use the bark of the “mouse­wood” tree as a substitute. The bark of this tree was also used for bag strings. ( Mousewood” = Dirca palustris a.k.a. Leatherwood-thanks Cp Gardener)

Another historical note: In 1901 About sixty neighbours helped in the raising of a barn of forty feet height at the farm of John McArton in the sixth concession of Ramsay near Carleton Place.


Clipped from

  1. The Ottawa Citizen,
  2. 30 Jul 1927, Sat,
  3. Page 2

img - 2020-01-08T104700.216

The Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
12 Sep 1899, Tue  •  Page 3

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Gold in Dem Dar Hills of Lanark

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting-The Lime Kiln

*The Early Days of Working in the Ramsay Mine — Going Down Down Down

A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County

Where Were the Miracle Salt Springs in Pakenham? I Love a Challenge!

Gold in Dem Dar Hills of Lanark


Lanark County is said to have as great a variety of minerals as can be found anywhere in the same area. Galena has been mined at Carleton and near Lanark, Quite an excitement was caused by gold being found in the streets of Lanark, and rubies and amethysts were found in Burgess 1879. Donald Sherwin from  FRIENDS of the TAY WATERSHED  is of the opinion that most known mineral deposits in the Lanark County portion of the Tay Valley Watershed have either been depleted in historic times, or are too small and uneconomic to be considered for future mineral exploitation.


The Perth Courier 1880—-Mr. Boyd Caldwell along with his sons William and Thomas commenced two weeks ago on January 5, 1880 to open up an iron mine on the property in the Township of Lavant, and he has taken out over 200 tons of ore already with four men. The ore has been analysed by Prof. Chapman, and according to his return yields 64 per cent, of metallic iron, and contains none of the deleterious substances, such as phosphoric and Titania acids and sulphur.

It contains about five per cent, of lime, which we understand is of benefit in smelting. The deposit is very extensive, 30 feet in width, and as far as at present known about 300 yards in length the openings having been made nearly the’ whole length (300 yards). Mr. Caldwell intends sending a sample to Pittsburgh, Pa., in the Spring to be smelted. Whither be intends after fully testing it to put up furnaces to smelt the ore. or to ship to the States, as has been done with other ores mined in Eastern Ontario, we know not.

Wilbur Mine screen res.jpg

Photo from Rideau Township Historical Society

This ore being so free from impurities it might pay to smelt it on the spot, as we believe there is abundance of timber in the neighborhood tor charcoal purposes.

Mr. Caldwell some years ago (when the gold fever broke out in Madoc) told me of the veins of quartz near the village of Lanark, and they contained according to Dr. Girdwood’s analysis, seventeen dollars worth of gold to the ton. Why are these veins not worked, when less than half of seventeen dollars of gold to the ton of reek will, and in many cases is made to pay handsome dividends ?


Photo from–Derek DavidsonMadoc and Local Area History

Travel back in time almost 150 years to relive Ontario’s Highlands very own gold rush! In 1866, local division courthouse clerk, Marcus Powell, stumbled upon a cave twelve feet long, six feet high, and six feet wide on the property of John Richardson, just north of Madoc. What he found inside is best described in his own words: “The gold was found… in the form of leaves and nuggets, and in the roof it ran through a foot thickness like knife blades. The largest nugget was about the size of a butternut.”

This discovery set off a gold rush the likes of which Canada wouldn’t see again until gold was discovered in the Klondike, thirty years later.-Eldorado Experience


Kim Woodside

Eldorado experience is permanently closed and has been since 2018. Thank you to those who visited. Kim Woodside


Eldorado Experience Facebook page

Today, you can go for a personal guided tour of the historic Richardson property with owner, Kim Woodside. Visit the discovery site, the remains of the ore processing mill, the streets of the original town of Eldorado, and several other historic points of interest. While you’re there, don’t forget to browse the giftshop your very own piece of ore from the Richardson mine, and try your hand at gold panning!
This wonderful 100 acre healing property is home to the Richardson Gold Mine, the Eldorado Copper Mine, the Eldorado Gold and Silver Reduction Company and the Phoenix Gold Mining Company.–Location: 5 McCann crescent, Eldorado


After working them for about a year, the Boyds leased a portion to the Bethlehem Iron and Manufacturing Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who carried out the bulk of the mining. The vein was considered to be of the very best magnetic ore. It varied in width from 10 to 30 feet and was assayed by a Professor Chapman at 65 per cent metallic iron. In addition to mines, the Caldwells also operated a steam sawmill, that provided employment to 50 men.

The Wilbur mine operated until 1911. Since almost everyone in town worked for the mine, the community was abandoned after the mine shut down. The post office closed in 1913 and recent floods have obliterated almost all traces of the community. However, if you travel along the old KPR rail bed, you’ll find signs of Wilbur coming back to haunt you. The railway station sign, a building thought to be the rail station and a humorous sign post announcing your arrival in Wilbur still remain.

Related reading

Looking for the Artist of this Carleton Place Painting-The Lime Kiln

The Early Days of Working in the Ramsay Mine — Going Down Down Down

A Giant’s Kettle in the Middle of Lanark County

Where Were the Miracle Salt Springs in Pakenham? I Love a Challenge!